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Rocket or waste oil?


Joined: Nov 26, 2010
Posts: 1
Hi all,
I've been researching and considering different (better) options for a shop heater. I'm new here and thought I'd ask "those in the know".
I like waste oil because the fuel is free, it's hot, no smoke or smell and it's cheap and quick to build. On the flip-side, they're very noisy, dirty oil can clog, and there is potential to use more oil than I can find.
The rocket is also cheap to build and cheap to operate (I have plenty of surplus wood, now). I think it would make enough heat for my 30x40 shop and would probably take less space. I like the idea of burning scrap wood without having to cut it down to "wood-stove size". I have several potential "tanks" (water heater, 250 gal oil tank, 55 gal drum, etc). The down-side: I think the rocket would be a pain to light and building may take more trial and error. Also, I have some large chunks I'd have to split the snot out of, to make it fit.
Now, what does everyone else have to say. Am I way off base? Is there more I should know about either heater?

Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
By waste oil do you mean motor oil?  Does burning the waste oil, with the additives have any potential harmful effects?

I have no idea, just wonder.
Joel Hollingsworth

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Waste oil might potentially be recycled, or (if it's vegetable oil) up-cycled into motor fuel.

Liquid fuels can, in some circumstances, be more of a fire hazard.

"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men.  They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
Philip Freddolino

Joined: Jun 02, 2010
Posts: 53
Do both.  I've retro-fitted drip burners into conventional wood stoves and it worked great. You start the fire with wood and then open a needle valve to start the oil drip. I used veggie oil that was too hydrogenated to easily make biodiesel from. The drip burner is gravity fed and designed after a ceramic kiln burner with stepped plates.
tel jetson

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3328
Location: woodland, washington
Ernie has mentioned that he used an oil drip in a rocket stove.  haven't heard any more detail than that.

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subject: Rocket or waste oil?